Lesson 3

Sin manifests itself in two basic ways, erroneous concepts and sinful attitudes. An erroneous concept is simply having the wrong ideas about what is right and wrong. In our generation it is not uncommon for people to have an erroneous concept of morality. We are told that the numbers of divorces in America have not risen much in the last few years and I partly believe it, because, it seems that there are as many couples living together without marriage as there are living in marriage. If an unmarried couple splits up, it doesn’t show in statistics. Many churches have unmarried couples as members. I have met people who really did not know that living with someone outside of marriage was wrong. Pastors, deacons, and Sunday School teachers need to tell folks that living together outside of the institution of marriage is a gross sin against God’s Divine and sacred institution. The practice of living together without marriage is becoming more and more common among middle aged and the elderly. Age group, or motive does not change the fact that it is adultery and a gross sin.
Shame on America for allowing the sin of sodomy to overrun this Nation. Many people have been apathetic, having a care-less attitude toward this most gross sin against God and against our society. The homosexual movement has forced its way into the second most sacred institution on earth, marriage. Now, since they have taken over that institution they will begin to invade the first most sacred institution, the Lord’s church. If God does not destroy this country first, our children and grandchildren will live to see the legalization of sins that you and I haven’t even thought of yet to accommodate this evil, wicked lifestyle.
It is not uncommon for people to have an erroneous concept of responsibility. They do not understand what their responsibilities are as a husband or wife. This is why premarital counseling is so important. I will not agree to marry a couple unless they agree to premarital counseling. However, truth can cure error. If a couple is willing to look to the word of God and honor it as their rule of practice, their erroneous concept of morality and responsibility can be cured through education, even if they are not saved. A sinful attitude indicates that a person knows the truth but is not willing to comply to its standards. Let me say, that if one or the other partner brings into the marriage sinful habits or a general attitude of selfishness, all the nagging and criticism in the world is not going to help a spouse if their partner is rebellious against the truth. Attitudes must be changed through confession and repentance. If one or the other or both are practicing deliberate sin such as we mentioned at the first, then confession and repentance before God is the only cure for that problem.
The basic cause of marriage problems is very often the absence of Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ should be the center of every Christian home. 1 Corinthians 7:5, “Defraud ye not one the other, except [it be] with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.” If I were to sum up the root cause of marriage failure I would say that it lies in the neglect of the marriage partners to assume their responsibility as man and wife according to the word of God (please study Ephesians 5:22-33 very carefully.) In other words, both must understand their role and practice it. If a Christian family (husband and wife) are having problems with their relationship it is because one or the other or both have departed from the word of God and their basic Christian duties: such as prayer and a daily diet of the word of God. One of the first things I ask a couple who are seeking counseling for problems is, “have you been reading your Bible and praying?” If the couple are not Christian, the best solution to their problems is to put Christ in your life and in your marriage by confessing your sins and receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. If your husband or wife is a Christian and you are not you can make your marriage 10,000 times better by surrendering to Christ. Life and marriage will take on a whole new meaning for you; it will open up a world of happiness that you never thought was possible.
Marriage problems. Many have them, some big, some small, but they can be dealt with and managed and even eliminated simply by following the Divine wisdom of God found in the Bible. E-mail, johnpruitt@frontiernet.net.

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